Reddit rejoiced yesterday at the reveal of the next mech. I imagine the rejoicing has died down by now, but at the time of writing, reddit itself has been dead for a few hours.
The jubilation was not without cause. It's been a year and a month since the last light mech was released
(the Jenner IIC), and that one was announced
in Summer 2015, so the Javelin represents the end to a year and a half of drought. Since the Jenner IIC, we have had 17 releases in the form of solo mechs, none lights (though a couple were super-fast mediums).
On top of all that, we have a price reduction! Sure, the Kodiak is still more cost-effective, but you're also getting enough extra goodies like premium time, mechbays, and camo nonsense to be "worth" over 15 bucks without adding in the mech (15 bucks of MC will get you just the 30 days of premium time with 500 MC left over). So it's still a pretty good bargain, even if it's not god-tier like the Kodiak. And it looks like this will be the last one-shot pre-order pack, with next one being a pack of 3060 mechs.
And this is all without talking about the mech itself. I'm not a light pilot, never have been really focused on that particular style, but it's still pretty neat looking. Aesthetically, humanoids are notorious for looking quite same-y, so that's a real risk here. Lights in particular don't have much real estate to differentiate themselves from each other, and the Wolfhound and Panther have already proven the issues with that. In spite of all that, I'm really digging the shape of this mech - perhaps it's just the pose it takes in the image, but it's bringing up thoughts of K-2SO and Bastion, with the sort of long-armed lankiness that we don't see much of in MWO.
In terms of performance, I'm about to talk about that in detail, but it at least seems interesting. Which is to say, very few of the builds are copy-pastes, and I think there are some unique options to consider.BuildsJVN-10N
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 9 in head, max elsewhere), XL255 (148KPH), 2 JJs
- 4x Streak SRM2 with 3 tons of ammo
- 10 DHS, BAP
Let's start off nice and easy. It's been a long time since I've made a streak boat without saying "eugh", and...well this one isn't great
. But it fits nice, it's fast, and it should do its job. Plus, if this mech has Firestarter syndrome (no torso pitch/yaw), at least your streaks won't care.JVN-10F
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 9 in head, max elsewhere), XL280 (162.5KPH), 2 JJs
- 4x Medium Pulse Laser
- 11 DHS
4 MPLs ain't much to write about, but that speed is pretty swell. If the hitboxes live up to the art, we could be looking at a spider-esque harasser, and 4 MPLs are plenty of firepower for that. I do think it'll need some weapon and acceleration quirks to make that work, though.JVN-10P
- Endo, Ferro (5 per arm, 17 in head, max elsewhere), XL255 (148KPH)
- 6x SRM2 with 4 tons of ammo
- 11 DHS
This build gets me all tingly; I've always been an SRM2 fan and there are remarkably few mechs for which SRM2s make sense (the only one that comes to mind is a COM-1D). And honestly, they don't make that
much sense here either - SRM2s are excruciatingly hot weapons, which means that 11 DHS is a nail in the coffin of this DPS mech. Still, can't wait to play it.JVN-11A
- Endo, Standard Armor (2 in LA, max elsewhere), XL255 (148KPH), 2 JJs
- 7x Small Pulse Laser
- 12 DHS
This is probably the most copy-paste build of the bunch, and I don't place much confidence on it beating the FS9-A in a meaningful way (even that wouldn't be saying all that much anyways). All that said, I'm sure this mech will be just fine
- Endo, Ferro (stripped arms, 9 in head, max elsewhere), XL225 (130.6KPH)
- 4x SRM4 with 3.5 tons of ammo
- 11 DHS, ECM
The slowest build I'll be looking at, this one emphasizes stealth and power over manueverability. It doesn't even get access to jumpjets, but the ECM might make the difference, and it has by far the most offensive power of all the builds I've looked at seriously (though 6xSRM6 on the 10P could be hilarious...1 ton of armor, 1.5 tons of ammo, XL170 if you're curious).JVN-HT
- Endo, Ferro (5 in head, max elsewhere), XL255 (148KPH), 3 JJs
- 4x Medium Pulse Laser
- 11 DHS
The Hero mech is not more powerful than the other mechs (at least, not until quirks), but adds a feature that the others don't get without making it OP. I'm pleased. Feel no obligation to dish out the moolah unless you really like the idea of arm-mounted lasers, or having only 2 missile hardpoints, or (and this is the best reason possible) you love the paint job.Value
Obviously, this is the cheapest pack to date, and as I spoke about earlier, the bonus goodies that come with the base pack sell for more MC than you can buy with 15 bucks. So if you buy premium time in 1-month chunks at full price, this is a great deal! But realistically, buying this should be for the mech. The fact that this is the first light mech we've gotten in over a year confers a certain value to it already, but of course how you personally feel about the mech is subjective.
At the end of the day, there's not much more I can say about whether or not it makes sense to buy the pack. The question is more about whether or not to buy the Reinforcement pack and Hero. Of those, I'd say the Reinforcements look much more attractive, with the JVN-11B being a nasty-looking assassin, and the JVN-11A being a relate-able energy boat. The Hero, though, does not appeal much to me. At any rate, I'd wait until we see quirks to pick either up, since I don't think you actually miss out on anything by doing so.Predictions
The Javelin will be a pretty decent light mech, maybe even Tier 2. While the mech won't be considered a power-house, it will have a bit of the Spider's ability to be a real nuisance and do more damage than you'd think. And if it gets decent quirks and a small stature, it could be the replacement for the over-sized 35 tonners.
GMan129 is an officer of the Steel Jaguar competitive team, he is the owner of and writer for MetaMechs, and he does some writing for NGNG as well. He has been playing MechWarrior Online since the early days of closed beta, and has spent far too much time and money on this crap. If you're interested in supporting his self-destruction, consider checking out his Patreon!